Around Mason: Week of August 17, 2021


Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit through the online form.

Deadline is close of business Wednesday for inclusion in the following Tuesday's edition.

Campus Updates

You’re Invited to the Preamble and Welcome2Mason

The Preamble kicks off Welcome2Mason, six weeks of programming and events to help students learn campus for the first time and make connections. Festivities begin on Aug. 18 when students start moving into their residence halls.

Mason faculty and staff are invited to participate and encouraged to assist in welcoming back our students at events and Ask Me Booths. Volunteer opportunities are posted at

Due to recent changes, New Student Convocation will be offered twice on Aug. 20, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. to maintain safe capacities in Eagle Bank Arena. Wear Mason gear and attend either session to help welcome new students to Mason.

Check out the complete list of Welcome2Mason events.

With everyone’s support and engagement, we can bring energy and Mason spirit to the start of the fall semester.

Contact Rick Gray, New Student and Family Programs, at with questions.

Election Results: New and Returning Staff Senators

The Staff Senate is excited to announce Mason's newly-elected and returning Staff Senators:

Arlington Campus:
Shams Bahabib, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (incumbent)
Carlos Sandoval, Antonin Scalia Law School

Fairfax Campus:
Stephanie Atkins, Mason LIFE Program (incumbent)
Stacy D’Angelo, Digital Communications (incumbent)
Evan Frejo, Computer Science Department
Will Gautney, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Steven Lindner, Information Technology Services
Stacey Remick-Simkins, English Department
Lauren Reuscher, University Information (incumbent)
Kimberly Shaw-Mack, Human Resources and Payroll (incumbent)
Preston Williams, Office of Communications (incumbent)

SciTech Campus:
Colby Grant, SciTech Campus Executive Office (incumbent)
Kristen Wever, College of Science (incumbent)

Hugh Bayard, Office of Sponsored Programs
Taylor Griffin, School of Business

Submit a question, comment, or idea to the Staff Senate. Contact with questions.

Fall Mason Shuttles Schedules Available

The fall 2021 Mason Shuttles schedules are available at Check out a summary of the shuttle start dates and major changes.

Note: Fall shuttles will operate at 90 percent seating capacity, and face coverings will continue to be required on board all shuttles regardless of vaccination status in keeping with public transit guidelines.

Mason Shuttles are currently operating on a summer schedule for most of August. There are two routes operating this summer: Fairfax to SciTech (on a reduced schedule) and the On-Demand Shuttle (serving stops on and around the Fairfax Campus). The CUE bus is operating on its regular schedule with service to Vienna Metro. For details on the Mason Shuttles summer schedule, visit

Patriot Bike Check Out: The Re-Launch

The Patriot Bike Check Out Program will relaunch on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Check out a bike with a valid Mason ID at the RAC or the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Bikes may be returned to either location.

Check out the details. Contact with questions.

Updates for Impact Awards and Departmental Monetary Awards

Human Resources and Payroll's Reward and Recognition team is updating its processes to follow Commonwealth of Virginia policy for impact awards and departmental monetary awards.

Individual impact awards and departmental monetary awards will no longer be grossed up to cover the payroll taxes normally deducted from an employee’s paycheck so that the employee will receive the value of the award in the net pay. All monetary awards, regardless of the funding source, are subject to taxes in accordance with IRS regulations.

Questions? Contact

Training and Professional Development

Crucial Conversations Skillshop Series

Hone in on the skills for holding difficult conversations featured in “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.” A five-part series of “skillshops” will be led by a certified trainer in the Crucial Conversations model. These sessions will focus on practicing the crucial skills needed to ensure your challenging conversations are handled effectively.

Crucial Conversations Skillshop
Wednesday, Aug. 18
1–3 p.m.

Contact with questions.

Webinar: How to Check the Quality of Your Online Courses and Online Teaching

In this webinar, the Stearns Digital Learning Quality Assurance (QA) Team will share essentials for online course quality. Learn tips for how to work with the Online Quality Checklist and Quality Assurance resources. Experienced faculty will share how their online courses show quality.

Participants will also learn to apply the checklist to make sure that their online course is ready for the fall semester.

Webinar: How to Check the Quality of Your Online Courses and Online Teaching
Friday, Aug. 20, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Darlene Smucny and Monisha Tripathy (Stearns Digital Learning QA Team), Jessie Matthews (English Department), and Erin Murdoch (Psychology Department)

Contact with questions.

Resources for You

Mindful Mason Moments: Virtual and In-Person Sessions

Mindful Mason Moments sessions, presented by the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, offer an opportunity to take midday breaks in ways that can deepen mindful awareness and overall well-being.

Starting in September, the sessions will continue via Zoom at noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In-person sessions will also be offered on the Fairfax, Arlington, and SciTech campuses.

Visit the website for more information and a schedule of sessions.

Mason Jazz Faculty Perform at Jammin Java

Join Mason Jazz faculty for an evening of Jazz standards and original compositions at Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia.

Sunday, Aug. 29
7 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Jammin Java
Purchase Tickets

Jammin Java offers live music and a concert experience in an all-ages community environment. For questions, contact Darden Purcell at

Registration Underway: Abandoned Bike Sale

Register to attend Parking and Transportation’s Abandoned Bike Sale on Friday, Sept. 24, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in Parking Lot C on the Fairfax Campus. Approximately 85–90 bikes will be for sale.

This year will be a little different than past sales. To space out customers, the online registration page allows guests to sign up for a time to visit. Walk-in customers will not be permitted. Limit of one bike per customer.

Questions? Contact 703-993-2828 or

Faculty/Staff Book Scholarship Awardees

Marie Calle, development coordinator in the College of Science, and Jacelyn Tyson, director of administration and budget in Communications and Marketing, have each been awarded Faculty/Staff Book Scholarships for the 2021–22 academic year.

Both employees receive $250 to help pay for textbooks or other course materials while they pursue their degrees at Mason. The scholarship has been awarded since 2011 to employees throughout the Mason community to help support their professional and personal development.

Congratulations to Jacelyn and Marie!